The social distancing recommendations and self-quarantine protocols are all the rage. Everyone is talking about them, just like a hot new TV show, album drop or good Kardashian gossip. I kinda miss the days when the elections monopolized the conversation.
Nevertheless, here we are, still weeks behind the rest of the world in terms of the start of this virus with no apparent end in sight. There will be one, I just can’t see it yet.
The whole country is learning how to navigate this new normal. It’s strange and unfamiliar. But amidst the information saturation, endless long lines for food and essentials, and the noise of my once quiet homestead, one thing has been a shining bright light for me... my tribe.
I GOT FRIENDS IN ‘SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE DISTANT’ PLACES
Call it whatever you will, your tribe, posse, gang, squad or ‘circle of trust’, maintaining contact with your friends is essential. Just don’t do it face to face! Sure, I would rather grab a coffee clutch or meet up at the nail salon for a much needed and overdue mani/Pedi, but for the time being, we need to communicate differently with one another. Here are a few common forms of communication that have really helped my sanity so far:
1. Text - Yes, I know as a society we text all the time. Sometimes we text when a phone call really should be in order. But lately, I can’t tell you the number of times I have laughed out loud, until tears come spilling out, over a text thread with a few members of my tribe. Sharing memes seems to be our most go-to entertainment these days, and there are some funny ones out there! Go ahead and send a quick ‘hi’ to someone. It may just brighten their day.
2. Phone - For my boys, talking on the phone is a pretty foreign concept. Perhaps this is true for some adults as well. But sometimes we all just need to vent about this crazy situation, and my venting sessions just can't properly be captured in a text message. Other times I'm the one lending a compassionate ear or supportive word as the realization sets in of canceled college graduations, small businesses struggling to make numbers, and faith that is tested. In these cases, pick up the phone!
3. Social Media - My own boys would totally cringe at me admitting this, but I love to use Snapchat and Instagram stories. These outlets are fantastic for quick check-ins with each other, oftentimes with humorous filters. Also, these outlets are great for documenting our journey through these crazy times.
4. Teleconference - There are a number of really great, free platforms that allow people to meet up with one another over the internet. They are being used for remote classroom instruction since all schools are closed, and for businesses to continue to conduct meetings. But let’s get creative! Set up an online virtual happy hour, or a dance party, or TV viewing, or prayer discussion, or dinner party. Check HERE and HERE and HERE to get started.
5. Write Letters - Full disclosure, I have not written a letter and sent it in the mail in a really, really, really long time. I don't even know if my kids know what that is! But it is yet another form of communication that can keep our friendships strong and our tribes united. This holds especially true for our elderly family and friends that may not otherwise have access to technology. It's also a good reminder that while the convenience of email is wonderful, a thoughtful handwritten note can be more meaningful!
6. Be Neighborly - A popular show my husband and I watched years ago was Home Improvement. Two of the main characters, Tim the Toolman, and Wilson were neighbors. During the show, you never saw Wilson's full face, but they would have these thoughtful interactions through the fence. How well do you know your neighbors? Could you stand on the other side of your fence, or street, and hold a conversation with them? Do they need anything you can spare? Maybe they just need to feel connected like we all do.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
We are all in this together. Unlike commonly distributed participation trophies, there is no award for 'toughing it out' by ourselves that will be given. We need to lean into one another, perhaps as we've never done before. We need to understand this inconvenience will pass in time, but we don't have to hunker down and do it alone.
Human beings are social creatures by design. There is nothing comfortable or natural about isolating ourselves from one another. There's a real danger too of this isolation causing loneliness and depression. So, it is more critical than ever that you stay connected to your tribe. You can also take advantage of this quarantine by reaching out to old friends you haven't spoken to in a while. Rekindle a friendship! Who says there can't be a silver lining in this miserable mess?
YOU HAVE A FRIEND IN ME
And to anyone out there reading this who feels they don't have a tribe... you have a friend in me!
I may not see your struggles chasing 3 school-aged kids around the house who are now home indefinitely, but I see you.
I may not bump into you as you frantically search for food and essentials at the store, but you are bumping around in my brain constantly.
I may not hear your cries of frustration, anxiety, stress and worry over a lost job or missed mortgage payment, but I hear you.
I may not know personally who you are or where you live, but I'm praying for you as this crisis has inexplicably linked us together.
Reach out Here and Here so we can connect. Or leave a comment in the section below and I will respond and do my best to be there for you!
FINDING YOUR TRIBE
Find, love and appreciate your tribe. They are important now more than ever. And to my tribe...
my family tribe
my core team tribe
my small faith group tribe
my church tribe
my Life Night teen tribe
my baseball tribe
my mission trip tribe
my band tribe
my writing tribe
my long-distance tribe
my social media tribe
...I want to say thanks from the bottom of my heart. We can't go through this alone. I can't go through this alone. There will come a day when we can all gather together over a few drinks, (oh and there will be a few drinks!), and look back at this season of our lives with perspective and a renewed focus of what is important. But until then hit me up via, text, phone, snail mail, DM, IG, or a dance party on Zoom. Cheers my friends. Much love to you all!